Out with the old…

Photo - Makeup clutter

The New Year is a time of reflection and resolution for many. In my house I am in full on de-clutter mode as soon as the dust settles a few days after Christmas (followed by my daughter’s birthday). I filled 5 boxes for GiveBackBox with clothing donations, outgrown toys, and extra dishes. This organization lets you print a shipping label for all those amazon boxes you have this time of year to send your donations to Goodwill for FREE. Win-Win! My husband tackled the mountain of paperwork in our basement. Then we set our son up with the shredder and he went to town to get rid of everything with identifying info. The digital clean-up will wait for another day.

Meanwhile, I attempted our bathroom. We had OTC and prescription medications from my first pregnancy- expired B12 prenatal anyone? I filled a giant shoe box with the grip drops that never worked, old epi pens, and expired medication from when I had experienced vertigo. There was even a bottle of a few pain pills from an oral surgery that I probably MOVED from our last house. Ugh. Now, these things can’t just be tossed but don’t need to be filling up my shelves. And to be honest, working with teens and seeing the opiate epidemic in our area, my husband and I agreed it would be irresponsible to keep them “just in case.” Check with your local sheriff department or consumer affairs office. In New Jersey, there is even an anonymous medicine drop program with multiple locations. I dropped our box off on the way to dinner last night. Felt so good.

Then I turned to the drawer. You know the one. The product grave yard filled with free samples you are saving- (for what??) and expensive jars that you spent good money on but didn’t deliver. There is probably a pair of crusted over mascaras in there. An maybe a few color choices that didn’t make it out of the compact to your face. I hear you. You feel bad tossing it. But hear me out. Is it worth the space it is taking up in your drawer? No. Depending on what you have, you can recoup some of that investment at Glambot.com. They will buy your new or opened make up for credit on the site or cash- but check their specifications. Most of my unearthed items were expired, so I tossed them and moved on. To be honest, with great skin care, I have been wearing less and less make up.

But how do you know if your skin care should go in the bin? I found a few old flames tucked in a travel case. I had a few mini bottles of that little yellow lotion from the department store, some peel pads from Sephora and travel jar of some scrub. One had an expiration date stamped on the package. It seems that expiration dates are more guidelines than rules so I will offer them to a friend since they don’t really work with my current routine.

 Like with food in the fridge use your eyes and nose to tell you more. If the smell is “off” it can indicate that some bacteria has been growing. I took a whiff of the scrub. It didn’t smell super minty like I remember and I didn’t want to risk it even on my toes. I tossed it. The lotion smelled fine, but there were a few lumps in the sauce. It seems that any smooth lotion can get clumpy over time. This can indicate that either the active ingredient (the one you paid big bucks for) is breaking down or bacteria has crept in. At worst,  you are inviting an infection, at best it’s a waste of time- chuck it!

This is a perfect time to address those skin care concerns you have had and develop a streamlined routine. The aisles can be overwhelming- see drawer from above. Find a skin care consultant or schedule an appointment with someone who can help navigate your options. Not every product works for every issue and it is helpful to narrow down the ones that apply to you and your budget. Then you can customize based on your lifestyle. Like any investment, you’ll want to make it a smart one.

Organizing a bathroom drawer, or a whole house is an ongoing project. But with each part of our life that is decluttered, I feel better. I think my family does too. My morning routine is faster and that helps to set the tone for a better day all around.

Cheers to clearing out the clutter of 2016. What are your secrets to clearing out this time of year?

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